Sunday, June 5, 2011

Already Compromised – Review

Ken Ham and Greg Hall, President of Warner University, present the survey results of Britt Beemer (America’s Research Group) in this highly recommended work. They asked questions of school Presidents, Deans, Science Heads and Theology Heads at Christian colleges and universities regarding biblical authority. A total of 312 people were interviewed (2.5% margin of error).

There are six Christian schools where the presidents accept AiG’s statement of faith:

Bob Jones University
Jackson Hole Bible College
Tennessee Temple University
Northland International University
Appalachian Bible College
Warner University

Out of Ham and Hall’s survey of presidents, VP’s and department chairs, 59.6% of these Christian educational leaders accept Creation In Six Days (CISD), that is 24 hour days. Incredibly, 10.9% of these institutions teach that evolution is true. The term “evolution” itself is confusing, but most commonly means Atom-to-Adam transformation or Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). Only 42.3% of these leaders adopt Young Earth Science (YES). [1] Just 74% of these leaders believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. [2]

Considers these answers from the leaders of the Religion (or Theology) Dept. and the Science Dept. on whether they are Old-Earth or Young-Earth [3]:

57% of the Science Dept. chairs support YES - could it be that there is evidence that supports recent creation?
There is a much needed emphasis on a Christian Worldview in the book. [4] Because Christians have a deficient worldview (WV) they hold to a weak view of Ge 1-11 (G111). Francis Schaeffer (d. 1984) helped popularize the importance of worldview. Doug Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, said this about Schaeffer and worldviews:

Schaeffer taught that worldviews need to be compared on the basis of objective criteria. … [a good worldview] must be internally consistent. … a worldview needs to fit the facts of reality; it must be "true to what is," as Schaeffer put it. A worldview needs to match the external facts of history and science.

I spoke with Ken Ham a number of years ago about my research on Schaeffer that his writings, overall, fall into the creationist camp. Schaeffer held to a non-tranquil Universal Flood, the possibility of man-dino coexistence and that nuclear decay rates may not be constant. [5]

According to John Stonestreet,

… one who may have influenced Protestant Evangelicalism more than any other towards worldview thinking is Francis Schaeffer. Schaeffer’s most significant contribution was bringing the concept of Christian worldview out of the academy to popular Christian thought.

Already Compromised provides a welcome emphasis on knowing Jesus Christ personally. Ham and Hall also give a clear presentation of the gospel of grace. They include a helpful chapter of survival tips for college students. Ham and Hall focus on unity based on truth.

There is an excellent appendix refuting the Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP) by Terry Mortenson and Bodie Hodge. This critical theory was refuted in The Fundamentals edited by R. A. Torrey (the successor of Moody) which were first distributed from 1910 to 1916. George Frederick Wright wrote the article “The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch.” Other articles also relate to the JEDP issue.

Why have so many Christian schools gone astray? They have been unduly influenced by the likes of Mark Noll, who wrote in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans, 1995):

Creation science has damaged Evangelicalism by making it much more difficult to think clearly about human origins, the age of the earth, and mechanisms of geological or biological change. But it has done more profound damage by undermining the ability to look at the world God has made and to understand what we see when we do look. [6]

Christian schools have compromised, but what is the solution? Students and educational leaders should read the following to help restore Evangelical foundations:
Sacred Cows In Science challenges mainstream science with such worldview topics as Darwin, eugenics, animal rights, abortion, climate change, non-material nature of the mind, gay activism, the Global Flood and other hot topics. There are 17 authors, several with Ph.D.’s. Norbert Smith (Ph.D. Zoology) is the editor and has been a creationist leader for many decades. The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer covers much from theology and philosophy to the arts.

The Fundamentals shows the power of old arguments – the new challenges have not yet refuted these. Contemporary scholars reject conservative theology because of bias and false presuppositions. The Fundamentals was edited by R. A. Torrey who actually “met” H. M. Morris, the father of modern creationism, in 1919! R. A. Torrey held the infant Morris, just a few months old, in his arms and prayed for him and his future ministry. [7] Fundamentalist is not a bad word – read The Fundamentals online.

Joel Heck has written In the Beginning, God: Creation from God's Perspective which is a superb defense of traditional creationism from Scripture and science. It is short and economically priced – ideal for mass distribution (hint: college presidents!!).

A future project for this team might include a national (US, CAN, UK) survey like the following:
The results could be displayed on billboards in various parts of the country (e.g. 84% of Alaskans support Young Earth Science). Amazingly, 29% of Russians, formerly an atheist state, hold that dinos and Man lived together. A survey of 1,600 Russians was conducted in January of this year (3.4% margin of error). The response in Gallup polls for those who agree with the statement “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so” has changed little since 1982.

Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods [Darwin, Big Science, Old Earth Fallacies] which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Josh. 24:14, 15)

1) Already Compromised by Ken Ham and Greg Hall (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2011), p. 22-24.
2) Ibid., p. 30.
3) Ibid., p. 55.
4) Ibid., pp. 204-212.
5) Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer (Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 1982), Vol. 2, pp. 94, 95, 132, 134.
6) quoted in Head and Heart: American Christianities by Garry Wills (Penguin, New York, 2007), p. 550.
7) A History of Modern Creationism by Henry Morris (Master Books, San Diego, CA, 1984), p. 58.


On a lighter note, maybe some visionary educational leaders will someday start International Creationist University (I-C-U). ;-) G111 = believe Genesis 1-11 (not just what comes after)

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